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Wet’suwet’en Solidarity Statement

School of Social Work

December, 2020

Solidarity Statement

We, the the Faculty of the School of Social Work at Laurentian University, stand in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en Nation in their efforts to defend their sovereignty over their territories and resist the violence of the Canadian state.

The Canadian state is built on settler colonialism, a specific type of colonialism that continues to operate today because subsequent to initial invasion, settlers stayed and imposed their own political, economic, and social systems. They claimed sovereignty over Indigenous lands  and use police, military, and legal force to impose claimed jurisdiction.

We denounce these colonial acts of violent removal of Indigenous Land Defenders from their sovereign territories.

We support the right to protest as a pillar of Canadian democracy. 

We support the demands of the Land Defenders and Hereditary Chiefs .

As Canada is a signatory to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples, and in recognition of the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, we call upon the Canadian state to:

  • Cease the construction of resource extraction and other developments on Indigenous sovereign territories against the will of traditional governments, Land Defenders, and grassroots peoples.
  • Fully implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into Canadian law, and respect the right of Indigenous peoples to free, prior, and informed consent on their lands. 
  • Respect the sovereignty of Indigenous legal systems and traditional governance systems on their lands as well as any treaties concerning these lands.

Cease the use of violent force to access Indigenous lands and remove Indigenous peoples, and remove unwanted militarized police and security forces and their surveillance from these territories.  



During 2019 and 2020 Wet’suwet’en Land Defenders and their guests faced arrest and unlawful violent removal by militarized RCMP officers when blocking the development of a pipeline by Coastal GasLink on their territories and without the consent of their Hereditary Chiefs. For example, on February 6, 2020, the GRC used dogs, banned media from filming arrests, and militarized police with night vision and automatic weapons raided the camp in the dead of night. 


Lowman, E. B., & Barker, A. J. (2015). Settler: Identity and colonialism in the 21st century Canada. Fernwood Publishing.

Tuck, E., & Yang, K. W. (2012). La décolonisation n'est pas une métaphore. Décolonisation :
            Indigénéité, éducation et société, 1(1), 1-40. Accès à partir de

Camp Unist'ot'en. (2017). Wet'suwet'en Chefs héréditaires : Pas d'accès sans consentement. 
Unist'ot'en : Santé du peuple, guérison de la terre.


  2. Tuck and Yang (2012); Lowman and Barker (2015).
  3. Tuck and Yang (2012); Lowman and Barker (2015).
  5. Based on the demands of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs.